Many people are unaware of the education requirements and qualifications to become a police officer. The job entails much more than simply making traffic stops, and applicants need to be aware of the risks and rewards.
Our three-step process will guide you through the basic qualifications required to become a police officer.
3 Easy Steps to Become a Police Officer
A Degree in Law and Justice A university degree in law and justice will provide the background necessary to become a police officer. Although most TV shows and movies portray the local sheriff deputizing local citizens, that is rarely the case today. An education in law and justice prepares potential candidates for the rigors of the job, including a thorough understanding of the American Justice System, rights and responsibilities, before attending the Police Academy.
This degree typically takes four years to complete. The courses are designed to provide the information necessary for a basic understanding of the law and how to enforce it. You may wish to study at a local university as laws vary by state.
Apply to a Local Police Academy After graduating from college, you will want to apply for acceptance into a local Police Academy. Here you will find specialized training and courses that are designed to complement the courses and knowledge you have obtained at college as well as the specialized tactical knowledge required to become a police officer.
The average length of time spent at a police academy ranges from 8 weeks – 6 months, but will vary based on local and state requirements. Expect to be put through a rigorous physical course, requiring strength and durability. Courses are taught by experienced Police Officers who are able to teach you what to expect. Graduation requires passing both a physical exam as well as a written exam.
Trial Period You are now able to wear a badge and uniform and apply to become a trial Police Officer! At first you will work under the direction of a full-fledged partner who will act as a mentor, helping you gain the experience required to work the beat. Your partner will evaluate your performance and guide you through difficult situations and teach you proper protocol. As a police officer you are a servant of the people and are there to serve and protect them during dangerous situations.
Follow the directions given by your mentor. Resist the temptation of allowing power go to your head. Always remember what led you to become a Police Officer.
After passing the trial period you are ready to become a Police Officer who can fully operate on your own! Congratulations!